NASA History

NASA History Learn the history of NASA's exploration of the universe and its many discoveries about our home planet. This is the NASA History Office's official page.

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Celebrate the #60thAnniversary of American spaceflight with us! 🎉 Join us on this Wednesday, May 5th from 11 to 11:45 AM...
05/03/2021

Celebrate the #60thAnniversary of American spaceflight with us! 🎉

Join us on this Wednesday, May 5th from 11 to 11:45 AM ET, as an expert panel discusses the history of human spaceflight, including the obstacles faced, advancements achieved, and the possibilities in our future.

This event will be available to watch on our Twitter, Facebook, or NASA Livei!
https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

Celebrate the #60thAnniversary of American spaceflight with us! 🎉

Join us on this Wednesday, May 5th from 11 to 11:45 AM ET, as an expert panel discusses the history of human spaceflight, including the obstacles faced, advancements achieved, and the possibilities in our future.

This event will be available to watch on our Twitter, Facebook, or NASA Livei!
https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

In celebration of Alan Shepard's historic flight and the past 60 years of Americans in space, experts from the NASA Hist...
05/03/2021

In celebration of Alan Shepard's historic flight and the past 60 years of Americans in space, experts from the NASA History Office and the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution will be on Reddit answering questions about the history of human spaceflight.

Join us!

📆 Wednesday, May 5th
🕛 12 pm ET
🔗 https://reddit.com/r/history

In celebration of Alan Shepard's historic flight and the past 60 years of Americans in space, experts from the NASA History Office and the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution will be on Reddit answering questions about the history of human spaceflight.

Join us!

📆 Wednesday, May 5th
🕛 12 pm ET
🔗 https://reddit.com/r/history

Everything is ship shape! ⚓ The primary image on the Apollo 12 mission patch is the clipper ship orbiting the Moon. The ...
05/03/2021

Everything is ship shape! ⚓

The primary image on the Apollo 12 mission patch is the clipper ship orbiting the Moon. The clipper ship made travel to foreign shores faster and easier, just as the Apollo spacecraft opened the way to new celestial bodies.

Also, astronauts Gordon, Bean, and Conrad were Navy pilots, so a blue and gold motif signified an all Navy crew. The four stars symbolized the three crew members and astronaut Clifton C. “C.C.” Williams, the mission's original Lunar Module Pilot who died in an aircraft crash.

#MissionPatchMonth

Everything is ship shape! ⚓

The primary image on the Apollo 12 mission patch is the clipper ship orbiting the Moon. The clipper ship made travel to foreign shores faster and easier, just as the Apollo spacecraft opened the way to new celestial bodies.

Also, astronauts Gordon, Bean, and Conrad were Navy pilots, so a blue and gold motif signified an all Navy crew. The four stars symbolized the three crew members and astronaut Clifton C. “C.C.” Williams, the mission's original Lunar Module Pilot who died in an aircraft crash.

#MissionPatchMonth

We're star crazy! ⭐ #OTD in 1998, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Nebula N 180B! N 180B is a re...
04/29/2021

We're star crazy! ⭐

#OTD in 1998, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Nebula N 180B! N 180B is a region of active star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

https://hubblesite.org/contents/media/images/2006/41/1983-Image.html

We're star crazy! ⭐

#OTD in 1998, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Nebula N 180B! N 180B is a region of active star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

https://hubblesite.org/contents/media/images/2006/41/1983-Image.html

On May 5, 1961 at 9:34 am ET, millions sat in front of their television sets and watched as the Mercury-Redstone 3 rocke...
04/29/2021

On May 5, 1961 at 9:34 am ET, millions sat in front of their television sets and watched as the Mercury-Redstone 3 rocket carried the astronaut Alan Shepard into space.

Join us on the #60thAnniversary of American spaceflight (Wednesday, May 5th from 11 to 11:45 AM ET) as an expert history panel discusses the history of human spaceflight, including the obstacles faced, advancements achieved, and the possibilities in our future.

You will be able to watch the event on NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public

On May 5, 1961 at 9:34 am ET, millions sat in front of their television sets and watched as the Mercury-Redstone 3 rocket carried the astronaut Alan Shepard into space.

Join us on the #60thAnniversary of American spaceflight (Wednesday, May 5th from 11 to 11:45 AM ET) as an expert history panel discusses the history of human spaceflight, including the obstacles faced, advancements achieved, and the possibilities in our future.

You will be able to watch the event on NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/#public

Are you carrying a torch for the Gemini VII mission patch? Jim Lovell said that because the crew was performing eight di...
04/29/2021

Are you carrying a torch for the Gemini VII mission patch?

Jim Lovell said that because the crew was performing eight different medical experiments on the Gemini 7 mission, he wanted something that would signify "medicine and endurance, much like a long-distance runner." Hence, the Olympic torch! The torch also represented the marathon-like 14-day flight.

#MissionPatchMonth

Are you carrying a torch for the Gemini VII mission patch?

Jim Lovell said that because the crew was performing eight different medical experiments on the Gemini 7 mission, he wanted something that would signify "medicine and endurance, much like a long-distance runner." Hence, the Olympic torch! The torch also represented the marathon-like 14-day flight.

#MissionPatchMonth

As the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 and the first director of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Instituti...
04/28/2021

As the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 and the first director of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Michael Collins inspired generations of space lovers. His appreciation of beauty and his legacy of spaceflight advocacy will live on in those he inspired.

Godspeed, Mike. You will be missed.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/statements-on-passing-of-michael-collins/

As the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11 and the first director of National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Michael Collins inspired generations of space lovers. His appreciation of beauty and his legacy of spaceflight advocacy will live on in those he inspired.

Godspeed, Mike. You will be missed.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/statements-on-passing-of-michael-collins/

The Apollo 16 mission patch shares a portion of its design with NASA's 'meatball' insignia and the official NASA seal : ...
04/27/2021

The Apollo 16 mission patch shares a portion of its design with NASA's 'meatball' insignia and the official NASA seal : the chevron! What does the chevron signify?

Although it may appear abstract, the chevron on both the Apollo 16 insignia and the NASA meatball actually represents wings! The original meatball logo was created in the 1950's when the supersonic arrow-wing design was being developed and tested in NASA's wind tunnels. James Modarelli, chief designer of NASA's seal and the meatball, was impressed by the technology and decided to include it in his designs.

It's time for the Grand Finale...April 2017: After 20 years of exploring outer space and Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft ...
04/27/2021

It's time for the Grand Finale...

April 2017: After 20 years of exploring outer space and Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft readied itself for one last adventure: the Grand Finale. In this mission, Cassini traveled through the gap between the planet's rings and Saturn itself, and orbited the planet 22 times before finally plunging into the planet's atmosphere.

This final exploration collected valuable information too risky to obtain earlier in Cassini's mission. The spacecraft helped scientists to understand more about Saturn's gravity, internal arrangement, and ring origin.

Buy one mission patch, get five free!The astronaut on the STS-72 patch is also wearing STS-72 mission patch! Designer Se...
04/26/2021

Buy one mission patch, get five free!

The astronaut on the STS-72 patch is also wearing STS-72 mission patch! Designer Sean Collins says that if you were to zoom in on the astronaut's patch, you'd see another astronaut wearing the patch! Keep zooming in! There are a total of six astronauts wearing patches inside the STS-72 patch!

#MissionPatchMonth

Buy one mission patch, get five free!

The astronaut on the STS-72 patch is also wearing STS-72 mission patch! Designer Sean Collins says that if you were to zoom in on the astronaut's patch, you'd see another astronaut wearing the patch! Keep zooming in! There are a total of six astronauts wearing patches inside the STS-72 patch!

#MissionPatchMonth

Everest peaks...In April 1956, Lt. Colonel Frank "Pete" Everest made the first supersonic flight of the X-2 plane, reach...
04/26/2021

Everest peaks...

In April 1956, Lt. Colonel Frank "Pete" Everest made the first supersonic flight of the X-2 plane, reaching a speed of Mach 1.4 and an altitude of 50,000 ft (15.24 km)! In July of the same year, he reached Mach 2.87 at 68,000 ft (20.73 km), earning him the title "Fastest Man Alive."

Everest peaks...

In April 1956, Lt. Colonel Frank "Pete" Everest made the first supersonic flight of the X-2 plane, reaching a speed of Mach 1.4 and an altitude of 50,000 ft (15.24 km)! In July of the same year, he reached Mach 2.87 at 68,000 ft (20.73 km), earning him the title "Fastest Man Alive."

Parallel parking isn't a problem on the Moon. Thank goodness for that! #OTD in 1972, Apollo 16 astronaut John Young drov...
04/23/2021

Parallel parking isn't a problem on the Moon.

Thank goodness for that! #OTD in 1972, Apollo 16 astronaut John Young drove the "rover" to its final parking place. Charles Duke and John Young used the Lunar Roving Vehicle to explore the Descartes highlands.

Parallel parking isn't a problem on the Moon.

Thank goodness for that! #OTD in 1972, Apollo 16 astronaut John Young drove the "rover" to its final parking place. Charles Duke and John Young used the Lunar Roving Vehicle to explore the Descartes highlands.

You've heard of an earthquake, now get ready for a marsquake! #OTD in 2019, NASA announced that the Mars InSight lander ...
04/23/2021

You've heard of an earthquake, now get ready for a marsquake!

#OTD in 2019, NASA announced that the Mars InSight lander recorded a likely “marsquake” for the first time! The quake was much smaller than earthquakes, but it was proof that Mars is seismically active!

Listen to the marsquake here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLBP-5KoSCc

You've heard of an earthquake, now get ready for a marsquake!

#OTD in 2019, NASA announced that the Mars InSight lander recorded a likely “marsquake” for the first time! The quake was much smaller than earthquakes, but it was proof that Mars is seismically active!

Listen to the marsquake here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLBP-5KoSCc

Calling space race enthusiasts! 🧑‍🚀On Wed., April 28th, at noon ET, author Stephen Walker (@SWalkerBEYOND) will be givin...
04/23/2021

Calling space race enthusiasts! 🧑‍🚀

On Wed., April 28th, at noon ET, author Stephen Walker (@SWalkerBEYOND) will be giving a talk on Yuri Gagarin & how US and USSR scientists and politicians battled for supremacy at the height of the Cold War.

Join us!
https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YjQwOGM1ZjctOGUzNS00ZjJiLTg5OTItYTMyNmIzNjkzNTBh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%227005d458-45be-48ae-8140-d43da96dd17b%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22906db907-6ff4-48b7-a98b-9c6e0ac8a41f%22%7d

Calling space race enthusiasts! 🧑‍🚀

On Wed., April 28th, at noon ET, author Stephen Walker (@SWalkerBEYOND) will be giving a talk on Yuri Gagarin & how US and USSR scientists and politicians battled for supremacy at the height of the Cold War.

Join us!
https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YjQwOGM1ZjctOGUzNS00ZjJiLTg5OTItYTMyNmIzNjkzNTBh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%227005d458-45be-48ae-8140-d43da96dd17b%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22906db907-6ff4-48b7-a98b-9c6e0ac8a41f%22%7d

#OTD in 1968, the space "Rescue Agreement" opened for signature! Negotiated by the United Nations, this treaty provides ...
04/22/2021

#OTD in 1968, the space "Rescue Agreement" opened for signature! Negotiated by the United Nations, this treaty provides that countries will provide all possible assistance to rescue astronauts in the case of an emergency, and return them and any space hardware to their home countries.

#OTD in 1968, the space "Rescue Agreement" opened for signature! Negotiated by the United Nations, this treaty provides that countries will provide all possible assistance to rescue astronauts in the case of an emergency, and return them and any space hardware to their home countries.

"For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience ...
04/22/2021

"For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us." - Astronaut Donald Williams

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

"For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us." - Astronaut Donald Williams

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

"Oddly enough, the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there...
04/22/2021

"Oddly enough, the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there." - Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut

While Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the Moon's surface, Collins orbited the Moon by himself. The first man in the history to be so truly alone, he had the opportunity to capture this image of the lunar module ascent stage with the Earth rising behind.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

"Oddly enough, the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there." - Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut

While Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the Moon's surface, Collins orbited the Moon by himself. The first man in the history to be so truly alone, he had the opportunity to capture this image of the lunar module ascent stage with the Earth rising behind.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

"We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."  - Bill Anders...
04/22/2021

"We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth." - Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut

From the Apollo 8 spacecraft, Bill Anders also captured one of the most iconic images in NASA's history, "Earthrise." The photo changed the way many people view Earth’s place in our universe.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/earthrise.html

"We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth." - Bill Anders, Apollo 8 Astronaut

From the Apollo 8 spacecraft, Bill Anders also captured one of the most iconic images in NASA's history, "Earthrise." The photo changed the way many people view Earth’s place in our universe.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/home/earthrise.html

Happy Earth Day! 🌎 🌱 Have you ever wondered what astronauts think when they look at Earth from space? Many astronauts ex...
04/22/2021

Happy Earth Day! 🌎 🌱

Have you ever wondered what astronauts think when they look at Earth from space? Many astronauts experience something called the overview effect, which occurs when astronauts view Earth from space. From above our planet, they undergo a cognitive shift and are flooded with a shared sense of humanity and awed feelings for the Earth system.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

Happy Earth Day! 🌎 🌱

Have you ever wondered what astronauts think when they look at Earth from space? Many astronauts experience something called the overview effect, which occurs when astronauts view Earth from space. From above our planet, they undergo a cognitive shift and are flooded with a shared sense of humanity and awed feelings for the Earth system.

#EarthDay #ConnectedByEarth

Over 200 miles up: THAT'S a runner's high! April 2016: British astronaut Tim Peake ran the London Marathon from the Spac...
04/21/2021

Over 200 miles up: THAT'S a runner's high!

April 2016: British astronaut Tim Peake ran the London Marathon from the Space_Station! Peake was the second person (after Suni Williams) to run a space marathon, and completed the race in about 3 hours 35 minutes.

Over 200 miles up: THAT'S a runner's high!

April 2016: British astronaut Tim Peake ran the London Marathon from the Space_Station! Peake was the second person (after Suni Williams) to run a space marathon, and completed the race in about 3 hours 35 minutes.

We won't Apollo-gize for an amazing mission patch! The Apollo 17 mission insignia is one of NASA's most recognizable pat...
04/21/2021

We won't Apollo-gize for an amazing mission patch!

The Apollo 17 mission insignia is one of NASA's most recognizable patches! It is dominated by an image of the Greek sun god Apollo; artist Robert T. McCall took inspiration from the Apollo of Belvedere in the Vatican Gallery. Behind Apollo sits an American eagle whose wing touches the Moon, signifying that this was a celestial body America had already visited.

Both the moon and the Greek god Apollo are in gold, symbolizing a golden era of American spaceflight.

#MissionPatchMonth

We won't Apollo-gize for an amazing mission patch!

The Apollo 17 mission insignia is one of NASA's most recognizable patches! It is dominated by an image of the Greek sun god Apollo; artist Robert T. McCall took inspiration from the Apollo of Belvedere in the Vatican Gallery. Behind Apollo sits an American eagle whose wing touches the Moon, signifying that this was a celestial body America had already visited.

Both the moon and the Greek god Apollo are in gold, symbolizing a golden era of American spaceflight.

#MissionPatchMonth

#OTD in 1962, Neil Armstrong made his 6th flight in an X-15. During re-entry from 207,000 feet (ca. 63 km), he overshot ...
04/20/2021

#OTD in 1962, Neil Armstrong made his 6th flight in an X-15. During re-entry from 207,000 feet (ca. 63 km), he overshot his landing, and headed towards Southern California at a speed of mach 3!

Neil couldn't turn around until the X-15 flew over Pasadena. He barely made it back to Rogers Dry Lake to Edwards AFB, narrowly missing the Joshua trees on the edge of the lakebed.

#OTD in 1962, Neil Armstrong made his 6th flight in an X-15. During re-entry from 207,000 feet (ca. 63 km), he overshot his landing, and headed towards Southern California at a speed of mach 3!

Neil couldn't turn around until the X-15 flew over Pasadena. He barely made it back to Rogers Dry Lake to Edwards AFB, narrowly missing the Joshua trees on the edge of the lakebed.

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If you're looking for the official source of information about the NASA History Office, please visit our page at www.nasa.gov/history.

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